By: Myles Herbert
A new Premier League season is finally upon us and with the first games coming this weekend, here are our picks for this weekend's games.
Arsenal v Fulham - 7:30am ET kickoff
An all London affair is set to begin this season's affairs and it should be a lovely game to watch. Arsenal are heading into this game fresh off of victories in the FA cup and Community Shield where they looked very good; good enough for Mikel Arteta’s official position to be changed to “first team manager” this past Thursday. Although Fulham will do better this season than their last outing in the league, Arsenal are playing the best football they have played for a very long time and if they did they scored brilliant goals against the likes of Van Dijk and Robertson, imagine what they can do against Ream and Bryan. (Although the Fulhamerica contingent will kill it).
Prediction: Arsenal win
Crystal Palace v Southampton - 10:00am ET kickoff
A game of two mid table clubs for the past couple of years is next on the docket but both teams continue to be interesting tactically speaking. Southampton will progress even more under Ralph Hasenhüttl this season and who knows what Palace will do with Hodgson still at the helm with the ex- England manager entering his fourth season at the South London outfit. Like everyone else I adore the signing of Eberechi Eze for a mere 17.8 million euros who will fit like a glove for the side but like always it’s a question of where the goals will come from. Southampton can answer that question with Danny Ings looking to continue his great form from last season.
Prediction: Southampton Win
Liverpool v Leeds United- 12:30pm ET kickoff
Undoubtedly the most exciting game of the weekend comes at Anfield where reigning league champions Liverpool host the winners of the Championship, Leeds United who are playing in the top flight for the first time since 2004. The reds will be looking to start this season the same as the last and not continue their poor form since after the season’s pause. The managerial battle between Klopp and Bielsa should be just as fun as what takes place on the pitch. Leeds should stay up this season but Liverpool will simply be too much.
Prediction: Liverpool Win
West Ham v Newcastle- 3:00pm ET kickoff
The last game on Saturday brings two teams which have many doubters going into this season. It seems as if the West Ham players have decided to revolt against ownership after years of what they see as poor decision making, leading to much uncertainty about the new season. Newcastle on the other hand will be trying to forget about the selling of the club drama which happened over the summer while also trying to balance new marquee signings for the club in two ex- Bournemouth boys, Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser. This game should be very scrappy and close but Steve Bruce knows how to coach their defence.
Prediction: Newcastle Win
West Brom v Leicester City- 9:00am ET kickoff
It’s a battle in the Midlands which starts Sunday’s action where two teams who will both think they have a shot at the three points compete. West Brom will look to start their first season in the Prem since 17/18 and Leicester will be determined to win after absolutely falling down to earth at the end of last campaign. West Brom have done some tidy business this window but goals will be missing. This could totally end 0-0 or 3-3.
Tottenham v Everton- 11:30am ET kickoff
Two ex-Real Madrid managers begin their first full seasons at the helm of their respective clubs as they both look to navigate their sides into the top four. Everton have certainly opened their pocketbook this summer, signing three top midfielders in James Rodriguez, Allan, and Abdoulaye Doucouré for a reported combined fee of 72.1 million Euros. Spurs certainly have not spent as much but will be trying to not start this season off as poor as the last. Everton still need a bit more time to really gel as a team in my opinion to kick start things.
Prediction: Tottenham win
Sheffield United v Wolves- 1:00pm ET kickoff
In store for us on Monday is a game which pits the 3 at the back sides against one another. Both of these teams have become the darlings of the league since being promoted with both playing brilliant football on the pitch, each developing their own distinct style. Wolves have become even more Portugese in the transfer window, adding two players from Porto including breaking their transfer record for 18- year old Fabio Silva. This game will be one to watch as both sides look to breaking the top six hierarchy.
Brighton v Chelsea- 3:15pm ET kickoff
While this game probably won’t be the most anticipated for most, it’s the game I am dying to watch. Before anything else I need to say that I am BIG on Brighton this season. More time under Graham Potter, the return of Ben White and most importantly, those home kits; man they're great. Lampard was the second best English manager making their debut in the Premier League last season after the aforementioned seagulls boss. Everyone knows about all of Chelsea’s shiny new toys brought in this summer in Werner, Havertz, Chilwell, and Ziyech but the latter two will most likely be out for this game as well as Christian Pulisic. This game will be so fun to watch and since Kepa is still in goal, anything can happen.